This week I look at how Beth Paretta and Robert Wickens inspire race drivers to exceed expectations.
From encouraging more women to get involved in motorsport to giving hope to those who want to race but are confronted with a disability, Paretta and Wickens demonstrate that the will to race is often greater than whatever obstacle is holding one back.
In addition to this I look at the future of Penske Entertainment’s Race for Equality & Change program and how you are only as old as you feel. All this in this week’s Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
The formation of Penske Entertainment’s Race For Equality & Change program is approaching its third anniversary and Racer.com looks at what is to come for the program.
“What we’ve tried to communicate about all parts of the program is that it’ll never end,” Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles said. “This has got to become a way of life. This is what we need to be. But as to your question, I don’t know for sure, but I can’t imagine that we won’t keep finding ways to give legs up, on a targeted basis, to where we think we can have the biggest impact and hopefully keep growing momentum.”
Further details on IMS and Indycar’s sustainability and DEI initiatives are set out in their newly released Penske Entertainment DEI and Sustainability report Accelerating Change which you can read here.
Robert Wickens has been one of the many shining examples of race drivers with physical disabilities overcoming them in order to continue racing and now he has set his sights on the Indy 500. Wickens and his current team boss Bryan Herta wants to be the first disabled driver to race in the Indy 500, and they want to do it next year.
“I never thought that would be my legacy. But if that’s what it is, I think it’d be a pretty cool thing to do. And it’d be great for spinal cord awareness. I think it’d be great for any person struggling with something, to show that you can achieve anything in life if you have a great support system, and a lot of hard work and a positive attitude.”
BlackBook Motorsport looks at why Paretta Autosport are both an achievement and a lesson for diversity in motorsport.
“I think the reason why it was able to come together when it did was more people were starting to get their [head] around the idea of needing gender diversity,” outlines Paretta. “The reason we want more women working in racing is because we want more women to be watching racing, so that we can keep racing as an industry.”
You have heard the saying “you’re only as old as you feel” and that is exactly the attitude that 40 year old race driver Mark Wilkins embraces. “I’m more disciplined,” Wilkins said. “I know with experience and racing for so long, I just know what needs to happen.”